Much to the chagrin of corporate America, a key European Union legal affairs committee has passed a proposal to allow class action lawsuits in the EU—a major step in becoming law.

While some EU member countries allow types of class action suits, others do not. Since 1998, the EU has offered only injunctive relief, allowing “qualified entities designated by the member states, such as consumer organizations or independent public bodies, to bring representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers with the primary aim of stopping both domestic and cross-border infringements of EU consumer law.”

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